Need to do some star watching? No need to go to Hollywood.

While the mystique of movie making never really wears off, it isn’t all about Hollywood anymore. Granted, lots of movies do “location shoots”, traveling to far flung places to capture a landscape that looks like Mars, or features endless days of sun. Hollywood may still be the capital of movie making, but there’s a whole world of possibilities just down the road. So, pretend we are on one of those Hollywood tour buses, this one highlighting various filming locations in the Ontario region.

First Stop, Ontario International Airport

Ontario, California, in the Inland Empire, has a unique character and excellent location that makes it a popular choice for movie making, filming commercials and shooting television series. Can you come up with five movies filmed in Ontario, California?

Here’s a hint: most used Ontario International Airport facilities for filming.

  • Ford v Ferrari (2019)
  • Moneyball (2011)
  • The Hangover Part II (2011)
  • Argo (2012)
  • Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
  • Catch Me If You Can (2002)
  • Zodiac (2007)
  • Gone Girl (2014)
  • Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005)

And, it is not all about movies. Ontario plays host to many unforgettable moments in television shows including Dexter, The Office, 24, and Mad Men.  

Contact the Ontario International Airport's Airfield Operations Section today for use of their filming facilities. 

Next, the Ontario Convention Center

Ontario’s movie cache goes beyond the airport. The Ontario Convention Center offers many options to film makers and commercial producers alike. The building has distinctive architecture, and has an array of possibilities for indoor scenes. The lobby features huge windows (over 45 feet high) and has plenty of floor space for staging large scenes. The Convention Center has another 70,000 square feet available in the exhibition hall that can be transformed into various styles.

Livewell Network’s Live Big with Ali Vincent filmed at the Convention Center, along with the now cancelled TV series LAX.

Driving Through to Commercials

Many companies turn to Ontario, California to film commercials. Just south of the airport, on Archibald Avenue is an Arby’s used in a commercial for that company in 2013. Station Film, a leading creative television ad maker, recently used Ontario International Airport as a location for a Progressive Insurance commercial. On East Concours, an Infusium 23 hair products commercial was filmed, as was one for Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Off to the Arena

Ontario’s Toyota Arena is home to the Ontario Reign Hockey Team, Ontario Fury Indoor Soccer Team, Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario D-League Basketball Team, and other concert, sporting and special events. It has been used in Nike commercials and in an episode of the series Cupcake Wars. UPS filmed a commercial using various streets throughout the City of Ontario.

How to Find Out More

There is an agency that handles filming for the Inland Empire, the Inland Empire Film Services. Where else could you find the variety of locations offered by the Ontario area? That’s why the commission refers to the region as "Hollywood's Largest Backlot!":

  • Natural settings, including sand dunes, lakes, dry lake beds, forests, deserts and farmland
  • Structures such as Missions, casinos, steel mills, ghost towns, wineries, homes of all types, airports and roads galore.

Filming in the City of Ontario 

The City of Ontario is available to coordinate your film permit application. To get you film project in Ontario started, fill out the online application. For questions, please feel free to email [email protected] or call (909) 395-2452.

Next time you are driving around Ontario, California, keep your eyes peeled. You might just see some of that show business magic in play!